VA San Diego Healthcare System
Be There for Veterans - Suicide Prevention Month
September is Suicide Prevention Month and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) wants to remind Veterans and their loved ones through the Be There campaign that small actions can make a big difference to Veterans experiencing difficult times.
During this and every month, VA San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS) remains committed to spreading awareness of suicide prevention to Veterans and their supporters and connecting them to the resources they need.
“Where there is breath, there is hope,” said Neal Doran, mental health director of clinical improvement at VASDHS.
Locally, VASDHS staff works to reduce Veteran suicidality with activities including coordinating care for at-risk Veterans, including responding to crisis line and staff referrals, providing supportive care to high-risk Veterans, and providing training and education to VA staff and community partners.
VASDHS is also participating in the Rapid Referral Research Study, which provides brief psychotherapy, utilizing the Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS) framework, for Veterans experiencing suicidal thoughts.
Be There suggests several simple actions that can help make a difference for a Veteran to include:
- Learning about the warning signs of suicide, found on the Veterans Crisis Line website.
- Watching the free S.A.V.E. training video to learn how to respond with care and compassion if someone indicates they are having thoughts of suicide.
- Contacting VA’s Coaching Into Care program where a licensed psychologist or social worker will provide loved ones with guidance for motivating Veterans to seek support.
- Sharing stories of hope and recovery from VA’s Make the Connection.
- Reaching out to the Veterans in your life to show them you care by sending a check-in text, cook them dinner or simply asking, “How are you?”
- [Utilize community organizations like 211sandiego.org to find resources for Veterans in need
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, contact the Veterans Crisis Line to receive free, confidential support and crisis intervention available 24 hours a day, 7-days a week, 365 days a year. Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, text to 838255, or chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat.